Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

Trooper hit while investigating crash off I-75

A Highway Patrol trooper investigating a crash off Interstate 75 was struck by a motorist Sunday evening. The Bowling Green Post is currently investigating the one-vehicle injury traffic crash that occurred on Sunday at approximately 8 p.m. The crash occurred on Interstate 75 near milepost 168 near North Baltimore. A 2014 Ford Focus, operated by Samuel J. Estep, 18, of Miamisburg, was traveling southbound on the ramp to Eagleville Road from I-75 southbound. Trooper Chris Kiefer was investigating a crash on the exit ramp from I-75 southbound to Eagleville Road. Estep traveled off the left side of the roadway and struck Kiefer. Estep’s vehicle came to rest in the gore on the left side of the exit ramp. He was not injured. Kiefer was transported by Mid-County EMS to Wood County Hospital where he was treated and released. Alcohol and drug impairment are not suspected in the crash. The roadway was ice covered and unsafe speed was a factor in the crash. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reminds motorists to move over and slow down when approaching emergency vehicles that are on the roadside with emergency lights activated. The crash remains under investigation. The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted at the scene by Mid-County EMS and Wright’s Towing.


$250 million logistics park, 2,000 jobs proposed near CSX hub

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News When the CSX Intermodal facility opened eight years ago west of North Baltimore, it brought with it the promise of luring other development. On Tuesday, a couple consultants for NorthPoint Development, in Kansas City, presented a pitch to the Wood County Commissioners about doing just that. Dave Robinson told the commissioners that NorthPoint is interested in forming a public-private partnership to help develop acreage bordering the CSX Intermodal facility. The area has room for “tons of growth” on 122 acres. That growth could mean up to 2,000 new jobs plus tax benefits for the region. But in exchange for the construction of a logistics park, the developer wants a property tax abatement of 100 percent for 15 years, Robinson told the county commissioners. NorthPoint has a great deal of experience working with intermodal partnerships, Robinson said. He noted some of the company’s existing developments in Kansas City and Rickenbacker near Columbus. The open acreage on the south side of Ohio 18, by the local CSX site, is ripe for placement of distribution and manufacturing facilities, Robinson told the commissioners. And NorthPoint has experience building “major big box state-of-the-art facilities,” he said. The acreage has room for more than 4 million square feet of building space, Robinson said. “It would be a large driver of economic development,” he said. “We think it will be a great opportunity.” A growing trend nationally is the need for distribution centers, Robinson told the commissioners. Ten percent of purchases in the U.S. are now made online. That number is just going to grow. “We see the growth of logistics and fulfillment as a very big trend,” he said. That is creating concerns for traditional malls and retail centers, but, “it also creates a massive opportunity,” Robinson said. And the location right next to the CSX Intermodal facility will be ideal. The site is also near Detroit and Chicago, right next to the Interstate 75 corridor, and close to the Ohio Turnpike. “We are believers in the economic benefits of the logistics industry,” Robinson said. The proposed logistics park…


Wood County under Level 1 snow alert

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn has issued a Level 1 snow alert for Wood County as of about 7 p.m. Sunday. A Level 1 alert means that roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are advised to drive very cautiously.


Ag update focuses on nutrient management

DThe Wood Soil and Water Conservation District is offering an Ag Update Breakfast on Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 7 to 8 a.m. at Bob Evans in Bowling Green. Kip Studer, nutrient management specialist with ODA, will start the discussion on the dollars and sense of having a nutrient management plan for your operation and the environment. A cup of coffee or beverage of choice is compliments of the Wood Soil and Water Conservation District. Breakfast is to be purchased by the attendee.


Boy gives his heart and his birthday presents to the dogs

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News For the third year in a row, Drake Stearns’ birthday present list has included unlikely items like dog food, leashes, blankets, bowls and dog toys. When he and his mom, Chris Stearns, dropped off the birthday presents to the Wood County Dog Shelter recently, it took several trips to deliver the loot. There was nearly 100 pounds of dog food (including some mistakenly purchased cat food.) “We’ll mix it in,” Wood County Dog Warden Andrew Snyder said. The dogs will never know the difference, he said. There were 15 boxes and bags of Milk Bone treats, some Pup-peroni, some peanut butter stuffed treats, and bags of squeaky dog toys, soft blankets, and other items. “I think the dogs deserve a birthday, too,” said Drake, who just turned 10. Drake’s tradition of sending out birthday invitations listing dog treats for his gift ideas, seems to have caught on. A classmate of his at Elmwood, Ryken Zeigler, also dedicated his birthday gifts to the dog shelter this year. “You’re a trendsetter,” Snyder told Drake. Drake has his own little pet menagerie at home – with two dogs, two cats, one tortoise and one hamster. One of this dogs (Pawsy) came from the county dog shelter, the other (Puggles) from Santa. Drake can’t exactly pinpoint what it is about dogs that he loves so much – other than “everything.” His mom admits to being an enabler for Drake’s love of animals. An employee at Wood Haven, she happened to stop by the neighboring dog shelter one day. “I didn’t want a dog,” Chris Stearns said. But then she saw the little dog looking longingly at her. “She was in the very last kennel, shivering, looking up at me,” she said. So Stearns brought Drake over to see what he thought of the dog. “They sat down on the floor, and Drake pulled on her ears, and she just sat there,” Stearns said. That was six years ago. This year, as Drake dropped off his birthday stash, he got to spend some time with Chance, a newer…


County parks fishing to add pond at Reuthinger Preserve

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News The Wood County Park District often hears from local residents fishing for a place to cast out their lines and reel in a big one. So when approached by a contractor needing dirt for a construction project, the park district jumped on the chance to provide their dirt and get a pond in exchange. Wood County Park District Director Neil Munger reported to the park board last week that E.S. Wagner Co. is bidding on a large ODOT project relocating the Disalle Bridge. The company needs a lot of fill dirt for the project, and Reuthinger Preserve has some to spare, Munger told the board. If E.S. Wagner gets the project, Munger suggested it would work to the park district’s benefit to let the company excavate a 6.5-acre area of Reuthinger Preserve, off Oregon Road, to create a pond for the park. The pond could potentially provide a place for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and a source of water for the greenhouse in Reuthinger Preserve. “One of the biggest things we hear from the public is they want more places to fish,” Munger told the board. “I think this is a real positive thing.” The pond would be in the northern section of the park. The district is also working on trails and boardwalks through the woods and wetlands in an eastern area of the park. If E.S. Wagner gets the bid, it will dig about 25 feet deep and then compact the pond area, Munger said. Restrooms may be added to the site, and Munger is hoping a windmill might be used for aeration of the pond. “This is an exciting possibility there for us,” he said. Munger also informed the board that he plans to talk with the Wood County engineer about the possibility of installing a four-way stop on Oregon Road at the entrance to Reuthinger Preserve. In other business at last week’s meeting, the park board: Agreed to raise per mile reimbursement for mileage from 54.5 cents to 58 cents, according to the IRS standard.Voted to purchase a Dodge Ram…


BG trash and recycling pickup delayed due to Presidents’ Day

The offices of the City of Bowling Green will be closed on Monday, Feb. 18, in observance of Presidents’ Day. The closure will affect garbage and recycling pickup:– Regular Monday collection will be collected Tuesday– Regular Tuesday collection will be collected Wednesday– Regular Wednesday collection will be collected Thursday– Regular Thursday collection will be collected Friday Any questions regarding the above schedule may be directed to the Public Works Department at 419-354-6227.


Iler turns mistakes into learning moments for his students

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Biology teacher Josh Iler isn’t bashful about his failures. “Failure is the best thing on the planet,” Iler said with a grin. So he teaches his students at Bowling Green High School to not be afraid of making mistakes. “Embrace failure. You will screw up way more than you will ever succeed,” Iler said as he spoke to the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club after being named one of the district’s inspiring educators of the year. Not one for public recognition, he titled his talk “Mr. Iler – an inspirational educator or just a guy doing his job?” To Iler, that means showing students how much can be learned from mistakes. Some of those mistakes he shared with Kiwanis – like the photo of him in the crawl space after neglecting to turn on the sump pump. “You will learn to never do that again,” he said. Or the photo of the deer that he missed because he left his rangefinder at home. “I’ll never do that again.” Or the video of the deer lungs that he inflated in his classroom by blowing into a tube – allowing students to see them expand and retract. “You may ask, ‘why is this on the failure page, Mr. Iler,’” he said to the Kiwanis. That would be because he made the mistake of inhaling through the tube, causing many in his audience to cringe. That’s part of what makes Iler an unconventional teacher. He has a natural talent with students, according to Jodi Anderson, secondary curriculum coordinator for Bowling Green City Schools. He excels at creating meaningful relationships with students, she said. That was evidenced when Iler enlisted the help of students in taming the overgrown courtyard area at the high school – building a koi pond and planting landscaping beds. Superintendent Francis Scruci said seniors came in on weekends and during their spring break to help with the project. “That’s a testament to what you do in the classroom,” Scruci said. Iler’s response was, “I don’t know any other way.” Though he’s been teaching biology…


At least 6 apply for open Ohio House seat as of today’s deadline

As of today’s deadline for those interested in the Ohio House seat vacated by Theresa Gavarone, at least six citizens have applied, according Wood County Republican Party Chairman Jon Jakubowski. Though there may be a few more potential candidates, Jakubowski said the people he is aware of applying for the 3rd House District include: Tiffany Densic, Rossford Board of Education member.Haraz N. Ghanbari, Perrysburg City Council member.Peter Range, of Haskins, a member of the Catholic Diocese.Ed Schimmel, mayor of Northwood.Sue Larimer, Perrysburg Board of Education member.John Clements. The House district covers all of Wood County. The Ohio House Republican Caucus created a screening panel to interview candidates showing interest in the House seat. Those interviews will take place next week, with an announcement expected on Friday. Jakubowski was unsure if all the candidates would be interviewed by the panel. “I’m pretty excited about them,” Jakubowski said of those applying for the House seat. “They are individuals of great quality.”


Two highway patrol officers from BG post earn state honors

Two employees at the Bowling Green Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol have been selected for 2018 Leadership Awards today. Dispatcher Tara J. Barnhart, of the Bowling Green Dispatch Center, earned statewide honors as the 2018 Dispatcher of the Year. She was selected from nine District Dispatchers of the Year across the state. Her calm demeanor, positive attitude and commitment to service distinguished her from the other nominees. Communications professionals are often the first point of contact for the public when need arises. Barnhart strives to provide the highest level of service to the public, her co-workers and the troopers on her shift. She garnered praise for her teamwork. Barnhart joined the Patrol in March 2006 as a member of the 146th Academy Class. She earned her commission in October of that year and was assigned to the Defiance Post. As a trooper, she also served at the Findlay Post. In 2015, she transferred to the Findlay District Headquarters as a dispatcher. In 2017, she earned the Gold Star Award. As a dispatcher, she also served at the Bowling Green Dispatch Center. Trooper Willie E. Richardson, of the Bowling Green Post, was honored with the Robert M. Chiaramonte Humanitarian Award, which recognizes officers dedicated to humanitarian causes on the highway and in their communities. Richardson is involved in educational endeavors and serves as a presenter for the Ohio State Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education Program on commercial transportation law. He volunteers and is an active faculty member with Nationwide’s Trail Division Trucking School. The school teaches lawyers from across the United States about the DOT commercial motor vehicle inspection process. Richardson believes in service to others, which is often displayed through his selfless acts. He has purchased spare tires, tanks of gas and bus tickets for individuals who were having financial issues. His deep faith is exhibited in his missional membership in Cedar Creek Church where he regularly serves as a leader of security during weekend services. He serves as a Ministry Leader of Cedar Creek’s West Campus Celebrate Recovery Program – a Christian based 12-step recovery program that…


Wasylyshyn named to National Sheriffs Association executive committee

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn has been appointed to the executive committee for the National Sheriffs Association. He has been a member of the NSA board of directors since 2010. The National Sheriffs Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among those in law enforcement. The NSA is a key player in shaping national policy on criminal justice issues. Wasylyshyn will be filling the unexpired term of a North Carolina sheriff who retired in December.


Not In Our Town stands in solidarity with Perrysburg against racist graffiti and La Conexion against family separations

(Submitted by Not In Our Town) Not In Our Town Bowling Green stands in solidarity with the Mayor and the citizens of Perrysburg in denouncing the bigotry, hatred, and prejudice expressed in the racist graffiti that was recently painted on a house in their community.  NIOT BG believes that there is no place for racism in any community.    Not In Our Town Bowling Green also stands in solidarity with La Conexion and its requests to terminate family separation on the US-Mexico border and the immediate and well implemented reunification of the children that have been separated from their families.  NIOT BG believes that all people should be treated with dignity and respect.  We denounce the inhumane treatment of immigrants and the inflammatory rhetoric that is commonly used in dialogues surrounding immigration as hurtful and hateful, and certainly not in keeping with the ideals on which America was founded.    Not In Our Town Bowling Green was created to champion diversity and advance the mission of guiding and inspiring people and the community to work together to stop hate and build safe, inclusive environments for ALL. This movement exists to address acts of intolerance and discrimination. Through the partnership of Bowling Green State University and the City of Bowling Green, those involved with Not In Our Town pledge to stop bigotry before it starts and stand against any and all forms of hate.  NIOT BG holds monthly meetings and we welcome all members of the community who want to work together to further our mission, and ensure that Bowling Green is an inclusive and welcoming community for all.      


BG man injured in crash; state patrol investigating

Troopers from the Bowling Green Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol are investigating a one-vehicle crash that occurred on Bays Road, near Bradner Road, in Montgomery Township, east of Bowling Green. On Thursday, at approximately 9:34 p.m., a 2008 Honda Fit operated by Caleb M. Holstein, 22, of Bowling Green, was traveling east on Bays Road. The vehicle traveled off the left side of the roadway, where it struck a utility pole and rolled over, coming to rest in the westbound lane. Holstein was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by mechanical means. He was transported by Life Flight to St. Vincent Hospital with serious injuries. Holstein was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash. Impairment does not appear to be a factor in this crash The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted at the scene by Bradner Fire & EMS, Life Flight and Tommy Boy Towing. This crash remains under investigation.


Oak Grove Cemetery spring cleanup to start March 1

The Bowling Green Director of Public Works is requesting that all wreaths and winter decorations be removed from Oak Grove Cemetery before Friday, March 1. The spring cleanup conducted by the cemetery maintenance crew will begin at that time, so anyone wishing to retain their wreaths or decorations should remove them prior to March 1.


La Conexion asks Latta to stand up against family separations at border

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News A group of citizens wants U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, to take a stand against family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. Latta has stated that the separation of families coming into the U.S. is “not necessary.” But that falls far short of calling out the practice as “a crime against humanity,” said Beatriz Maya, director of La Conexion of Wood County. “There was an intentionality in separating children from parents as a way to stop immigration,” Maya said during a meeting Thursday between La Conexion members and David Wirt, district director for Latta. “There was never an intention of returning these kids to their parents,” Maya said, noting the federal government’s admission that an insufficient record system now means that many children are still separated from their parents. Maya and others presented Wirt with a letter for Latta, asking that he support the termination of the family separations, the immediate reunification of children and parents, and allocations for more agents to process asylum claims. Wirt pointed out that Latta has stated that the separations are not necessary. That isn’t enough, Maya said. “The point is, what are we going to do about it,” she asked. The members of La Conexion asked for a face-to-face meeting with Latta about their concerns. Wirt said he would pass on that request to Latta’s office in Washington, D.C., where all the scheduling is handled. Amanda Schackow talks about family separations as Nicholas Eckhart listens. Most of the families separated at the border were not sneaking into the country, but openly seeking asylum – which is their right under international law, said La Conexion member Amanda Schackow. However, they were torn apart prior to any hearings held. “It’s pretty clear this was meant as a deterrent,” despite the U.S. experiencing a 20-year low in the number of asylum seekers, she said. Without their parents, many of the children had to represent themselves at asylum hearings – which determined if they would be deported, adopted or put in foster care. Many of the children were classified as “unaccompanied…